While recruiting in RPS Kemar, we got the opportunity to meet many communities and talk about our classes, gather more students and understand their needs. A new class has started in kampong Senangit in order to better serve the people living far away; people that cannot join our classes in Kampung Katong due to transportation issues. The decision was easy to take: if people cannot come to us, we have to go to them.
While conducting some literacy tests to ensure that everybody can follow our classes, we’ve noticed a high number of people that are illiterates. Most of them are children aged between 7-10 years, and there are also many adults that are struggling when it comes to reading and writing. We’ve tried to find out why most of the people are still facing this issue and there are 2 main reasons:
The local school is too far and they don’t have a mode of transportation.
Parents aren’t encouraging their children to learn how to read and write because they don’t deem it necessary growing up in a place like Gerik. They led their entire lives without it, so why should their children?
Here are some of our students!
Aseot, 42 (left) – Despite bring enrolled to a primary school, Aseot barely attended the classes and mainly spent time with his father in the jungle. His family never encouraged him to go to school so he didn’t really think about it. Moreover, at that time, the road that led to the school was really bad and made it impossible for his family to drive there. Today, he feels upset and disappointed to see how easy it is for others to read and write while he struggles. He hopes that our literacy classes can take him out of this struggle.
Zainab, 42 (middle) – As a child, her father forbade her to go to school. Zainab wants to be confident when someone asks her to sign or read something. She was praying for this opportunity to study something new and believes that SOLS literacy classes will change her life.
Subah, 28 (right) – Subah started secondary school but dropped out quickly because he couldn’t catch up with the rhythm. Being very shy, he decided to step out of his comfort zone and decided to give education another chance!
Safina, 18 (Right) – Safina never went to school because she doesn’t have an IC nor birth certificate, so she couldn’t be registered in school. During her childhood, she felt left out and that’s why she’s taking these literacy classes now: to have access to what others have, to finally study and try her best to learn how to read and write. She has hopes for her future and she sees these classes as an opportunity for change.
Written by Pusat Komuniti KUB-Berjaya Enviro Community Centre Gerik CCM-Bastien Duparchy and Assistant Teacher-Rosne Bin Along.